Curriculum

The MSW@Denver curriculum is designed to build your skills and knowledge as you develop your social work practice. Our dedicated faculty will prepare you to advocate for individuals, families and communities across a range of settings from correctional facilities and hospitals to public and private agencies. We encourage our students to explore the versatility of career paths available to social workers. Our students find careers as direct practitioners, community organizers, community and economic developers, program planners and evaluators, policy analysts, and much more. 

As a student in the program you will be encouraged to follow your own interests and passions, challenge your classmates and ask tough questions. In turn, we are confident your comprehensive, holistic understanding of social work principles will position you to reshape our world after graduation.

A Curriculum Grounded in Social Justice

MSW@Denver offers two online full-time programs: the traditional MSW and the advanced standing MSW. The University of Denver uses a quarter system which includes four quarters: fall, winter, spring and summer.

As an online traditional MSW student, you will: 

  • Complete the 90-credit program in as few as 27 months (9 quarters), or as many as 48 months (16 quarters).
  • Complete the foundation curriculum, the concentration curriculum in Mental Health and Trauma, and two field internships near your community.

As an online advanced standing MSW student, you will: 

  • Complete the 60-credit program in as few as 18 months (6 quarters), or as many as 24 months (8 quarters).
  • Complete two foundation curriculum courses, the concentration curriculum in Mental Health and Trauma, and a field internship near your community.

Foundation Curriculum

You will spend the first four quarters of your program developing an understanding of the history, values and ethics of the social work profession. You will explore topics such as human development and behavior, the impact of oppression on individuals and groups, interventions with client systems, and how to apply research to programs and practice.   

Concentration Curriculum

As an online traditional MSW student or advanced standing MSW student, you will complete the concentration curriculum in Mental Health and Trauma, which focuses your practice on comprehensive assessment, advanced interventions based on cognitive approaches and trauma-informed care. Whether you hope to work in direct practice with clients or in another setting, such as in the judicial system or a corporate environment, your concentration coursework will help you make a positive difference to individuals, families and communities.

Please note: If you are an advanced standing MSW student, you will begin the program with the advanced standing seminar and two foundation courses listed below that will prepare you for success in the program:

Field Internships

Field internships are the highlight of your social work education. You get to practice what you love: applying theory and classroom skills within your community. Throughout your internship, you will be supervised by an experienced social worker who will offer feedback and mentorship as you hone your personal practice.

Learn more about field education.

Our Philosophy

Our MSW program is designed to prepare the next generation of social workers with the skills you need to help individuals, families and communities combat injustice and oppression. There is no limit to the change you can create as a social worker, so we strive to empower you toward culturally responsive, critical practice — no matter the setting. That means we embrace the full scope of social work’s role in society.

Online Learning at the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW)

As an MSW@Denver student, you are supported and connected through our online campus. In this virtual hub, you will participate in weekly live class sessions with professors and classmates, up to four hours per week. You have the ability to choose the live class time that works best with your schedule. You will also access the online campus to complete self-paced coursework and connect with your network of classmates and professors. Regardless of distance, you will be a member of our engaged and driven community from enrollment until graduation and beyond.

Learn more about the online campus.

Request information to learn more about MSW@Denver or contact Admission at 855-219-5995.